The Dead Don’t Die is the latest offering from renowned director Jim Jarmusch (Sling Blade, Coffee and Cigarettes) and stars the legendary Bill Murray as a small town cop who must protect his local community from the very real threat of the undead when they suddenly rise up from the grave.
This will mark Murray’s long-awaited return to the Zombie genre after his show-stealing performance as himself in Zombieland, and has already dropped its first trailer. Although expectations are high for The Dead Don’t Die, this is not the first time the Zombie genre has crossed over into the realm of comedy. In fact, there are tons of other great Zom-Coms out there that you should really sink your teeth into before you devour Jarmusch’s movie, and we’ve been kind enough to come up with our very own crash course in the genre that we’ve creatively titled ‘The 10 Best Zom-Coms to Sink Your Teeth Into’.
But before you start scrolling down, why not check out the hilarious trailer for The Dead Don’t Die, because let’s face it, we can never get enough Bill Murray in our day!
10. PARANORMAN (2012)
ParaNorman has the unique WORD of being the only Zombie movie in this list that you can watch with your kids. Unless you’re one of those parents who like to drop their sprogs head-first into their horror movie education? We’re not judging by the way.
Released in 2012, ParaNorman is one of Laika’s more underrated creations. It follows the life of a young kid who, for whatever reason, has been granted with the gift of seeing the dead as they float around his hometown. Nobody believes a word he has to say in the matter, until one fateful night when he is forced to save his town from the (not so) rotting corpses of former townsfolk and the ghost of a vengeful young witch.
In typical Laika fashion, ParaNorman deals with the ideas of social exclusion in kids, and how being weird can be its own superpower. It is equal parts comedic and heartfelt and a fine example of how you don’t need to be Disney to make great animation.
9. WARM BODIES (2013)
Believe it or not, there have been a few different attempts to create romantic movies with the undead at the centre of the love story, but perhaps none with as much success and humour as Jonathan Levine’s 2013 Zom-Com, Warm Bodies.
The film stars Nicholas Hoult as R, a Zombie with a conscience, who rescues a girl from a gaggle of his fellow flesh-eaters and finds himself falling in love with her. At first, the girl only sees R for what he is, and although he tries to protect her, the feelings he has are not reciprocated. Eventually though, for reasons, we can only assume boil down to a distinct lack of men, she too falls in love, and sets in motion a chain of events that will bring about the end of the Zombie apocalypse once and for all.
8. DOGHOUSE (2009)
Anyone who knows me knows how I feel about Danny Dyer, but there’s no denying how bloody brilliant Doghouse is, at least as far as B-Movie horror flicks go.
In typical Dyer fashion, the film follows a bunch of lads (pronounced “Laaaaards”) who jump onboard a mini-bus to console a mate who’s just been dumped by his wife. But when they arrive in their friends quiet little home town, they find there’s more to the man-eaters here than they could have ever hoped for back home.
7. SCOUTS GUIDE TO SURVIVING THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (2015)
For most of us, joining the Scouts consisted largely of chanting “Dib, dib, dob”, while rubbing dock leaves on our arses after falling into a forest of nettles. But for Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, and Joey Morgan, joining the Scouts becomes a true test of their survival skills when their makeshift camp is besieged by… well, you can probably guess what.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is very much aimed at the teenage market and sounds like the love-child of Seth Rogen and Kevin Smith, by way of Superbad. It’s rude, it’s crude, and it lacks the poignancy or satire of say, Shaun of the Dead, but is just as much fun if not much less memorable.
6. ZOMBEAVERS (2014)
Hats off to Armory Films for coming up with 2014’s most inventive new spin on the Zombie trope. As the title of the movie suggests, instead of your typical human Zombie outbreak, Zombeavers instead opts to transfer the deadly virus into the local semiaquatic rodent population and has them terrorise a group of oversexed teenagers who were counting on a completely different kind of beaver paying them a visit this weekend.
5. DEADHEADS (2011)
Deadheads is an often overlooked gem of the Zom-Com subgenre, that’s every bit as much Easy Rider as it is Shaun of the Dead. It stars Michael McKiddy and Ross Kidder as two coherent brain-munchers, who set off on a road trip to deliver a message of love to one of their girlfriends.
4. ZOMBIELAND (2009)
The Zombie genre has long been the ugly stepchild of Hollywood. But after the mammoth success of Shaun of the Dead, Hollywood decided it was time to put its own stamp on the genre, and thus Zombieland was born.
Not only was the film an instant classic, but it was also one of the very best films of the decade, and a shining star on the resumes of everyone attached to it. Jesse Eisenberg stars alongside Emma Stone and the one-and-only Woody Harrelson as a group of survivors trying not to have their brains eaten in the brave new world.
Although it seems like every other Zom-Com at face value, it is an incredibly well-written film with just the right amounts of Zom and Com. It cleverly lays down the ground rules for surviving a Zombie movie, then subverts them in its own extra-meta way. There’s also a side-mission in which Harrelson is trying to hunt down the world’s last supply of Twinkies – and for the most part that little sidebar is so entertaining that it ends up being as important to us as it is him.
Bill Murray cameos as himself, and we even get a recreation of some of the very best scenes in Ghostbusters. The whole thing is a sight to behold, and we cannot say enough nice things about it.
3. BRAINDEAD (1992)
Before he was off tickling the toes of Hobbits, Peter Jackson was the absolute king of the splatter-movie genre, with blood-soaked shenanigans straight out of his native New Zeland. Perhaps his most iconic effort though came in 1992 with this hilarious zombie escapade about a young man who tries his hardest to keep his recently-turned mother locked away in the basement after she is bitten by a rabid Sumatran Rat-Monkey, only to end up unleashing an undead plague on his unsuspecting neighbours.
The practical effects alone make Braindead (or Dead Alive as it’s known in the States) an absolute marvel of a movie, but definitely not one for the faint of heart, especially if you don’t like the idea of people being turned into human soup with a lawnmower.
2. THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985)
For many of us, The Return of the Living Dead was our first experience of an intentionally funny Zombie movie. Presented as just another addition to the abundant genre of the era, ROLD was a complete surprise to horror fans everywhere, mixing punk rock, with creative gore and unforgettable creatures, while ticking the box for every horror cliche out there, albeit with its undead tongue placed firmly in its rotten cheek.
1. SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004)
Explaining the plot of Shaun of the Dead at this point seems redundant, because if you haven’t seen it then you probably won’t be reading this list in the first place, but we’ll assume some of you haven’t and tell you anyway. With a cast comprising of some of the very best comics actors that Britain has to offer, it is the story of an everyman who must break free from the mundanity of his day-to-day life in order to become the hero he was never destined to be after London is overcome by a plague of the undead.
Simon Pegg stars alongside the incomparable Nick Frost in what would become the first of three movies making up their now infamous Cornetto Trilogy. Although Shaun of the Dead wasn’t the first Zom-Com, it is by far the greatest ever committed to film.